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INTR6011 - Sustainable Development

Title:Sustainable Development
Long Title:Principles of Sustainable Development
Module Code:INTR6011
Duration:1 Semester
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Fundamental
Field of Study: Interdisciplinary Engineering
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2011/12 ( September 2011 )
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Coordinator: NIALL MORRIS
Module Author: NOEL DUFFY
Module Description: This module introduces sustainable development (sustainability) as an integrated consideration of environmental, economic and social issues.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 Describe the three pillars of sustainable development
LO2 Discuss the interdependencies of elements of an ecosystem.
LO3 Discuss international examples of sustainable development programmes in different countries or regions.
LO4 Critically assess the achievement of sustainability in a community, region or country.
Pre-requisite learning
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module. You may not earn additional credit for the same learning and therefore you may not enrol in this module if you have successfully completed any modules in the incompatible list.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed. You may not enrol on this module if you have not acquired the learning specified in this section.

No requirements listed
No Co Requisites listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Fundamentals of sustainable development
Pillars of sustainability. Examples of threatened areas, resources, biosystems. Examples of failed societies. Climate change as an example of systemic change: causes, impacts, responses. Significance for energy systems.
Ecosystems / ecology
Interaction between elements of an ecosystem. Interaction between ecosystems. The role of energy. Major elemental cycles. Threats, changes and damage to global and regional systems.
Indicators of sustainability
Frameworks for measuring sustainability: pressure - state - response; driving forces - pressure - state - impact - response. Bellagio principles. Extension of sustainability assessment to institutional (governance) indicators, themes and sub-themes. National performance.
Ireland's performance
National sustainable development plan. Measuring progress. Comparison between plan and performance. Comparison with international plans and performance.
Sustainable communities in the 21st century
Communities as systems: energy, food, waste management, economic structure, social balance, interactions with other systems. Local Agenda 21.
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work100.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Presentation Discuss an example of a failed or severely threatened system or society. 1,2 15.0 Week 3
Short Answer Questions Scope and significance of ecosystems 2 25.0 Week 6
Written Report Critical assessment of a region or nation's sustainability programme, with further reference to Ireland 3,4 20.0 Week 10
Short Answer Questions Review of module content 1,2,3,4 40.0 Sem End
No End of Module Formal Examination
Reassessment Requirement
Repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

The institute reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Topics will be presented and discussed in an interactive manner to engage the student. 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Tutorial Students will present and discuss their findings from reading assigned material 1.0 Every Week 1.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Students are required to examine specified information sources and prepare summaries for their own use and sharing with others. 2.0 Every Week 2.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Students will reflect on their learning by free reading 1.0 Every Week 1.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 4.00
This module has no Part Time workload.

Module Resources

Recommended Book Resources
  • Mulder, K. (Ed) 2006, Sustainable development for engineers, Greenleaf Publishing Ltd UK [ISBN: 978-1-874719-19-9]
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Godfrey Boyle (Editor), Bob Everett (Editor), Janet Ramage (Editor) 2003, Energy Systems and Sustainability (Paperback), Oxford University Press [ISBN: ISBN-10: 0199261792]
  • United Nations, Dept of Economic & Social Affairs 2007, Indicators of Sustainable Development: guidelines and methodologies, 3rd Ed., United Nations [ISBN: 978-92-1-104577-2]
Supplementary Article/Paper Resources
  • Comhar 2007, Counting what counts: a review of sustainable development indicators for Ireland
  • Comhar 2006, Conference proceedings: Towards sustainability in the National Development Plan 2007 - 2013
  • Comhar 2007, SWOT analysis of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2007 - 2020
  • Comhar 2002, Principles for sustainable development
  • Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government 2002, Making Ireland's Development Sustainable
  • Doran, P., Comhar 2007, Research Project: sustainable consumption & production - the state of the art
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CR_EBENS_8 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Building Energy Systems 3 Mandatory
CR_ESENT_8 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Sustainable Energy Engineering 3 Mandatory

Cork Institute of Technology
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